MENA Banking Excellence Awards 2023

Transforming Banking



  • Waldorf Astoria DIFC, Dubai, UAE
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Why attend?

What to expect for 2023?

The 2nd MENA Banking Excellence Awards will be conducted in-person for the very first time and will be hosted at Waldorf Astoria DIFC, Dubai, UAE on Wednesday 10th May, 2023


Award Entries


Leading banking organisations


Director / C-level attendees


Award Entries


Leading banking organisations


Director / C-level attendees

MENA Banking Excellence Awards 2023 Winners Announcement


  • 10 May 2023
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12 AM


2023 Awards

Entries are now closed

The awards programme celebrates the best-in-class banking and consumer finance institutions and individuals for their innovative service offering and commitment to customer excellence. The programme also delivers an exceptional benchmark bringing together the most senior banking executives, vendors, and other key industry stakeholders from across the MENA region.

Organised in collaboration with Middle East Economic Digest (MEED), UAE, and GlobalData, the 2nd edition of the MENA Banking Excellence Awards are dedicated to recognising the achievements of the MENA Banking community, celebrating the disruptors and the innovators of the industry.

MENA Banking Excellence Awards Special Report 2023​

Download Now

2023 Awards

  • Categories

    MENA Banking Excellence Awards 2023 Categories

    MEED in partnership with leading financial services publications Retail Banker International and Private Banker International to introduce the second-edition of MENA Banking Excellence Awards 2023.

    The in-person awards ceremony will celebrate the best-in-class banking and financial services institutions and individuals for their innovative offering and commitment to customer excellence.

    1. MENA Trailblazers:
      This category recognises the true trailblazers that are reshaping the regional banking industry.
    • MENA Asset Manager of the Year
    • MENA Digital Bank of the Year
    • MENA Investment Bank of the Year
    • MENA Islamic Finance Bank of the Year
    • MENA Most Innovative Bank of the Year
    • MENA Private Bank of the Year
    • MENA Project Finance Bank of the Year
    • MENA Retail Bank of the Year
    • MENA SME Bank of the Year
    • MENA Sustainable Bank of the Year
    • MENA Trade Finance Bank of the Year
    • MENA Wealth Manager of the Year

    Submit Entry

    1. ESG & Human Capital: Environment, Social & Governance and Human Capital Awards

    Environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles have never been more critical to the industry’s continued growth in the region.

    Furthermore, regional governments have issued clear mandates that position ESG best practices and employee centricity at the forefront of the national agenda.

    • Best CSR Initiative
    • Best Implementation of Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives
    • Best Initiative for Women in Business
    • Best Youth Programme Initiative
    • Excellence in Employee Engagement
    • Most Effective Nationalisation Programme
    1. Institutional Awards:

    The institutional award categories are designed to recognise the over best in class banking partners from each of the MENA countries.

    Nominations will be judges against competing bank entrants from each country to identify the over-all national winners.

    • Best Private Bank – Bahrain
    • Best Private Bank – Egypt
    • Best Private Bank – Jordan
    • Best Private Bank – Kuwait
    • Best Private Bank – Morocco
    • Best Private Bank – Oman
    • Best Private Bank – Qatar
    • Best Private Bank – Saudi Arabia
    • Best Private Bank – Tunisia
    • Best Private Bank – UAE
    • Best Retail Bank – Bahrain
    • Best Retail Bank – Egypt
    • Best Retail Bank – Jordan
    • Best Retail Bank – Kuwait
    • Best Retail Bank – Morocco
    • Best Retail Bank – Oman
    • Best Retail Bank – Qatar
    • Best Retail Bank – Saudi Arabia
    • Best Retail Bank – Tunisia
    • Best Retail Bank – UAE
    1. People Awards:

    An organisation’s growth and success is ultimately the result of the hard work and commitment showcased by the people that work there.

    The People Awards category has been developed to celebrate and recognise those very individuals that have been at the forefront of advancement, innovation and disruption to drive not just the company but the whole industry forward.

    **The Rising Star categories are dedicated to those under the age of 35

    • MENA Digital Innovator of the Year
    • MENA Female Banker of the Year
    • MENA Islamic Banker of the Year
    • MENA Private Banker of the Year
    • MENA Retail Banker of the Year
    • MENA Rising Star – Private Banking
    • MENA Rising Star – Retail Banking
    1. Product, Technology & Customer Experience:

    This category was developed to celebrate the outstanding innovations and commitment to customer services implemented by banks and financial services partners.

    Each of the below categories is focused on a specific facet of the product, technology or customer experience utilised or offered by banks across the region.

    Entrants in this category will be judged against their counter-parts from across the Middle East & North Africa, resulting in the winning entry being declared the best in their chosen category in the region.

    • Best Application for Customer Experience
    • Best Application of Data Analytics
    • Best Car Finance Offering
    • Best Credit Card Initiative
    • Best Digital Banking Initiative
    • Best Digital Wallet
    • Best Family Office
    • Best Innovation Programme
    • Best Islamic Wealth Manager
    • Best Mobile Banking App
    • Outstanding Wealth Management Service for the Affluent
    • Best Mortgage / Home Loan Offering
    • Best Multi-Channel Offering
    • Best Next-Generation Offering
    • Best Payment Innovation
    • Best Remittance Service
    • Best Social Media Marketing Campaign
    • Best Use of AI in Financial Services
  • Timelines
    • Entry Deadline –  16 December 2022
    • Extended Deadline – 16 January 2023
    • Judging – 10 February 2023 – 10 March 2023
    • Awards Night – 10 May 2023, Waldorf Astoria DIFC, Dubai
  • Why Participate?

    Covid-19 accelerated changes in the MENA Banking beyond any predictable horizon.  And the sector continues to innovate rapidly amid extraordinary shifts in consumer behaviour.

    Navigating this erratic marketplace is challenging and those individuals and organisations doing so successfully deserve to be recognised.

    The trailblazers of this sector are defining the new normal.

    As we move forward it is essential that we continue to push boundaries and recognize those individuals and institutions who are redefining banking.

    By entering the awards, you can expect to:

    1.Improve employee motivation and partner engagement: awards are a great way to acknowledge the hard work of your employees and recognise your industry partners

    2.Enhance your brand and drive credibility through third party endorsement: the reputational benefits from independent endorsement of your organisation and service offering are immeasurable. Recognition from trusted industry commentators positively influences customers, partners and employees driving trust and loyalty

    3.Profile your team favorably: professional exposure for your teams and corporate super-stars supports your institutions position as the home of the best talent as well as the best banking solutions

    4.Benchmark against your industry peers: Awards are the perfect platform to assess your organisations capabilities in a highly competitive market.

Special Report

  • 2023 Special Report

    A dynamic future for banking

    Congratulations to the winners of the Mena Banking Excellence Awards 2023!

    The second edition of the awards was an extraordinary evening, brimming with excitement, celebration and, above all, a sense of achievement. The night brought together banking professionals, industry leaders and stakeholders to commemorate excellence and innovation. It also provided a unique platform for networking, fostering collaborations and exchanging valuable insights.

    The nominations received this year covered a diverse array of initiatives, ranging from innovative products and services to transformative digital strategies. Their volume and quality were a testament to the banking industry’s resilience and continuous drive for progress, highlighting the depth of talent and expertise.

    I am delighted to witness the exciting developments unfolding within the sector, driven by technological advancements, evolving customer needs and regulatory changes. For this reason, we have produced a knowledge bank in the form of a special report, called Banking on Transformation.

    Throughout the process of preparing this report, I have had the privilege of engaging with prominent banking leaders and these interactions have provided invaluable insights into the current state of the industry and its future prospects.

    Banking on Transformation not only examines notable achievements and industry trends but also offers a comprehensive analysis of the developments, innovative strategies and emerging opportunities in the Mena banking sector.

    Looking ahead, the banking industry is on a promising trajectory. With a focus on digitalisation, customer-centricity and sustainable growth, lenders in the region are paving the way for a dynamic future. Embracing innovative technologies, enhancing financial inclusion and adapting to evolving market dynamics will be crucial for sustained success.

    As we conclude this remarkable event, I eagerly anticipate next year’s Mena Banking Excellence Awards and look forward to witnessing the continued progress and inspiring success stories that will shape the future of banking in the region.

    I would also like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the judges as well as my esteemed colleagues at MEED for their outstanding efforts in successfully organising this year’s awards programme.

    Sarah Rizvi
    Editor, MEED

    Click here to download the 2023 Special Report

  • 2022 Special Report

    A huge thank you to all participating banks in the inaugural MENA Banking Excellence Awards and the warmest of congratulations to all of the winners.

    The Middle East & North Africa is widely accepted as one of the fastest growing markets in the banking and financial services sector. From Egypt issuing the first “green bond” in the region, to Saudi Arabia’s issuance of standalone digital banking licenses, the region is challenging more wellestablished global markets in the race to position as worldclass financial hubs.

    Recognising these rapid changes and evolving financial services landscape, MEED has partnered with leading financial services publications Retail Banker International and Private Banker International to introduce the first edition MENA Banking Excellence Awards.

    This initiative is an extension of the long-running programmes RBI Asia Trailblazer awards, now in their 13th year, and PBI Global Wealth Awards, now in their 32nd year. The 2022 awards programme celebrates the best-in-class banking and financial services institutions and individuals for their strategy, innovative offerings, commitment to customer excellence and impact on the regional finance sector. We received a very high number of entries. But that is only part of the story. The quality of the entries received was exceptional.

    To be able to recognise so many outstanding banks in this first edition is hugely encouraging and has allowed us to set a high benchmark of excellence for the future. I had the very great pleasure of meeting Mohammed Al Othman, Group General Manager of the Consumer Banking Group at National Bank of Kuwait, winner of the MENA Retail Banker of the Year and MENA Digital Innovator of the Year

    During our meeting I was inspired by Mohammed’s leadership in launching Weyay Bank, Kuwait’s first fully digital bank. Focused on younger customers in the 15-25 age group, Weyay Bank has already gained a significant market share among this new generation and has set a high bar for other banks in Kuwait and the region as a whole to follow.

    Just as impressively the conceptualisation, creation and launch of Weyay was completed in just 13 months despite the challenges imposed by Covid. This combined with Weyay’s already incredible success leave no doubt that Mohammed and his team at NBK are worthy winners of these two prestigious awards.

    It is a privilege to be involved in this initiative. The MEED team and I are tremendously excited to see the next iteration of banking excellence evolve as we invite the industry to take part in the second edition which will be hosted in person alongside our first regional banking summit on 10 May 2023.

    I must also say a massive thank you to the judges and my colleagues at MEED for the phenomenal task of administering the entries and running the awards this year.

    Click here to download the 2022 Special Reportan in-depth analysis of winning strategies and the mindsets that drive success inspired by the winning entries for the MENA Banking Excellence Awards.

    Ed James
    Director of Content and Analysis

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  • 2022 Award Winners

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